The Minister in Liberia ( Walton ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 43, June 22, and my telegraphic despatch No. 40, August 13, 9 a.m.9 regarding a draft treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation under negotiation by the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia. I am submitting herewith for the Department’s approval the following proposed changes, deletions and additions:

Article III After the word “other” on the fourth line insert the word “lawfully.”

Article IV After the allowance of the term of 3 years to dispose of real property as contemplated under this article, what are the circumstances under which a further prolongation would seem desirable, and what additional period would be regarded a reasonable prolongation?

Article VIII Except such treaties for reciprocal trade as have been made or may in future be made with any third state; and treaties to facilitate the payment of foreign debts.

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Article IX Page 2—fourth line—after the word “period” add “provided one of the High Contracting Parties shall accord to the other High Contracting Party similar reciprocal considerations as may be granted by any third country.[”]

For the sake of clarity it is suggested that page 2—sixth line, after the word “shall” on the sixth line add “by import licenses” and after the word “interest” on ninth line delete all that follows up to the word “unless” on tenth line.

Article X What does the term “non-commercial transactions” denote? See second line from bottom of sheet.

Article XIV Approved to word “cargo” on eighth line. Delete thereafter. Apart from the fact that this article would appear to be in violation of the most favoured nation clause in treaties entered into by this Country with other countries, it tends to infringe existing Loan Agreement relative to this Government not undertaking any obligation tending to decrease current revenues. Port and harbor dues appreciably contribute to the country’s revenues.

Article XVIII It is suggested that in lieu of the draft submitted in respect of limited liability and other Corporations and Associations, the following be substituted—“the juridical status of limited liability and trading corporations including industrial, financial, insurance, traffic and transport corporations, which have been or which may hereafter be organized in accordance with the laws of either High Contracting Party, and having their head office within the territory of either of the High Contracting Parties, shall be recognized by the other High Contracting Party. They shall be entitled to exercise their business and rights within the territory of either of the High Contracting Parties, provided they pursue no aims within its territory contrary to its laws or detrimental to the State. They shall enjoy free access to the courts of justice on complying with the laws regulating the matter, as well for the prosecution as for the defense of their rights.”

Article XXI Tenth line after the word “Territories” add “or such areas as may be excluded from visit by law, military order or other regulations.”

Paragraph 2, after the word “matter” on fourth line add “higher than that imposed upon the most favoured nation.”

Paragraph 3, should be substituted by the following—“It is understood that all goods in transit through the territory of Liberia and all goods in transit through the territory of the United States of America when warehoused or otherwise stored shall be subject to storage charges.”

Suggested additions by the Liberian Government

Article XXVI Should any dispute arise as to the interpretation or application of the present Treaty, the matter shall at the request of either High Contracting Party be submitted to a court of arbitration for settlement. This shall apply also to the preliminary question of whether the dispute refers to the interpretation or the application of the Treaty. The decision of the court of arbitration shall have binding force.

For every case of dispute the court of arbitration shall be formed in the following manner:—each of the High Contracting Parties shall [Page 797] appoint one of its nationals as one of the arbitrators, and the two High Contracting Parties together shall select as chairman a national of a third State. Should the High Contracting Parties fail to agree upon the selection of the chairman within four months after the request for settlement by arbitration has been received they shall together request the President of the Administrative Council of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague to appoint a chairman of a neutral nationality.

The High Contracting Parties reserve to themselves the right to come to an agreement from the outset and for a definite period as to whom shall be the chairman.

Note:—Article XXVI in the original draft should be numbered article XXVII.

Article XXVII Ratification of the present Treaty shall be exchanged at Monrovia.

Respectfully yours,

Lester A. Walton
  1. Latter not printed.